Five Cardinals for Giants to target at trade deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments this season.
Exiting the All-Star break in the NL Central basement at 38-52, the Cardinals are in danger of finishing below .500 for the first time since 2007. John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations in St. Louis, confirmed that he plans to become a salesman by the upcoming August 1 trade deadline.
“Right now I can tell you that we are going to be trading people,” Mozeliak recently told FOX 2’s Marin Kilcoyne. “I just don’t know if it’s going to be household names or more guys that just won’t be here next year.”
With those comments in mind, here are five players the Giants could target in a trade later this month:
The Giants’ rotation is actually thanks to ace Logan Webb, All-Star Alex Cobb, and a bunch of tall relievers.
Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling have struggled this season, and Anthony DeSclafani has a 6.02 ERA since May 8. It remains to be seen whether Keaton Winn is a long-term answer. Top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison doesn’t seem ready for his big league-debut yet.
Why not exchange for a rental property?
Flaherty becomes an unrestricted free agent this winter after spending seven years in St. Louis.
In 17 starts this season, Flaherty has a 4.27 ERA, 4.01 FIP and 8.6 K/9. He’s been shot a few times in 2023, most notably for 10 runs against the Los Angeles Angels in May and six runs against the Giants in 4 1/3 innings last month. But he does have six good starts and coming off back-to-back goalless performances.
Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but he could slide in as the Giants’ third starter in a playoff series.
Speaking of starting pitchers, Montgomery is another expiring contract the Cardinals may want to turn into some future assets.
The 30-year-old southpaw has been doing great since being traded from the New York Yankees to St. Louis last summer, recording a 3.19 ERA and 1,170 WHIP in 29 career starts as a Cardinal. Montgomery has been on fire lately, allowing just seven earned runs over his last seven starts (1.48 ERA).
The Cardinals will likely charge more for Montgomery than Flaherty, but again, he would give the Giants a strong third starting option that is left-handed — a role the organization hopes Harrison will fill soon enough.
AS IF Tommy Edman
The Giants prioritize versatility when building their roster. Versatility also happens to be Edman’s best feature.
Edman has started this season in four different positions: shortstop (28 games), center field (24), second base (19), and right field (6). He plays solid defense throughout and even won a gold glove at second base in 2021.
However, the 28-year-old is in the middle of his worst offensive season, hitting just .237 with an 88 OPS+. He hit just .205/.285/.371 over the past four seasons since scoring a career-high 30 home runs in 2019.
Offensive woes aside, any team could use Edman’s defense and speed, even the Giants, despite rookies Casey Schmitt and Luis Matos giving the team the needed dose of youth and athleticism this summer.
Edman is under team control until 2025, which raises the price tag massively, but it’s a call Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi might want to make.
Hicks enters the open market this winter after one of the best seasons of his career.
The 26-year-old flamethrower has logged an absurd 13.5 K/9 in 36 2/3 innings this season, along with a 3.93 ERA and 3.12 FIP. Hicks struggled to start the year, but has posted an opposing 1.90 ERA and .179 batting average in his last 22 appearances.
Hicks consistently hits 100 mph on the radar gun, but control has always been his Achilles heel. He allows nearly six walks per nine innings this season and averages 1.5 hits or walks per frame, which would qualify him for the all-too-famous Giants Torture in San Francisco.
The Giants seem content with their late-game gauntlet of Taylor Rogers, Tyler Rogers and All-Star approaching Camilo Doval from the bullpen, but if Hicks can be bought cheaply – why not?
In case you haven’t heard, Goldschmidt likes to mash in Oracle Park.
Goldschmidt has posted a 1,010 OPS and 15 homers in 82 career games as an opponent in San Francisco.
Goldschmidt will turn 36 in September, but he still has plenty of energy for years to come. He is less than a full year away from winning the 2022 NL MVP award and is hitting .284/.369/.475 with 15 home runs this season. Goldschmidt wouldn’t be a mercenary either, as he owes $22 million for the final year of his contract in 2024.
Giants fans have been haunted by Goldschmidt throughout his career, which began with the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. However, all would be forgiven if he joined the lineup with the Orange and Black.
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